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PAM 3610

Course information provided by the Courses of Study 2014-2015.

In order to assess whether mass incarceration has transformed urban life, this course will (1) paint a portrait of the lives of marginalized Americans prior to mass incarceration, (2) define mass incarceration and describe the confinement experience, and (3) present recent evidence testing the effects of mass incarceration on urban life.

When Offered Fall.

Prerequisites/Corequisites Prerequisite: PAM 2030. Recommended Prerequisites: PAM 2100, PAM 2101, PAM 2220, PAM 2350, PAM 3150.

Outcomes
  • Be able to balance and assess a host of different types of evidence from different disciplines. This course will use a host of different types of evidence-ranging from ethnographic and autobiographical accounts to demographic and econometric analyses-to consider how mass imprisonment has changed the urban landscape, if at all.
  • Provide reasoned policy proscriptions that acknowledge weaknesses in the proposed approach. Unfortunately, there is no perfect solution to the problem of crime (and its root causes), and the research evidence on how mass imprisonment shapes urban life is, at best, incomplete. Because all solutions to crime are incomplete and research evidence on this topic is weak, coming up with some combination of social and criminal justice policy is a difficult but necessary undertaking.
  • Write in a professional, even fashion. Nearly everyone has an opinion about crime and the criminal justice system. Yet at most very few scholars working on this topic write about this issue eloquently and evenly. Because this is such a hot-button issue for liberals and conservatives alike, it provides an excellent opportunity to better write professionally.
  • Engage in evidence-based discussions in the interest of achieving common goals. Students in this class are almost certain to disagree (sometimes vehemently), so one key goal will be to be able to engage in a lively yet civil debate on the topic.

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Enrollment Information